Branding takes consistency, confidence and patience.
To be successful, you first need to develop a clear and concise positioning that not only your prospects understand and believe but one that your employees understand and believe too. You then need to consistently communicate this position at every touchpoint your prospect comes in contact with your brand – website, logo, business card, sales people, etc.
You also need to have the confidence to stand for something (your positioning) and have patience to see the cumulative effects build.
Sounds fairly simple. So why do so many companies fail?
Here’s a list of some of the enemies of branding
No CEO buy in
If your CEO hasn’t bought in to the branding effort, you have a very tough battle ahead of you. Your CEO should be the advocate for the branding effort within your company and lead the effort to get all employees on board. If the CEO doesn’t care, why should the employees?
New employees want to make their mark and get noticed. Don’t allow someone’s personal tastes or ambitions make decisions that move away from your brand. And it’s important to educate new employees on your brand standards to keep your position and communications consistent.
I’ve had clients that wanted to change advertising campaigns when it barely had enough time to gain traction. After spending time strategizing and developing the campaign they simply got bored with it. I explained that the target audience had seen the campaign far fewer times than they had. Brands are built on consistency and patience.
Branding takes time. Every change in strategy takes you back to square one, or worse. Resist it.
Lack of courage
If you have a winning strategy it will be copied and attacked. Stay true to it as reacting only puts the competition in control.
The “great opportunity”
Promotional and advertising opportunities will appear as your brand becomes more familiar. If these opportunities don’t support your positioning, they’re worthless.
In-house projects that don’t follow brand standards
I’ve seen this far too many times and, unfortunately, this can be hard to control. Examples include sales reps creating presentations that add their own “personality” to it, or IT staff creating very technically sound but “off-brand” web pages. You and your CEO need to put a stop to this (see point #1).